31 December 2006

Blades: A Plausible Origin

Over the years I've heard various stories or theories of where the Blades family and name originated. After the American War of Independence heard that some Blades moved from the Eastern Seaboard to the still British colony of Nova Scotia and others moved south to the Spanish colony of Florida (why I jokingly want to call Rubin and Roberto from Cuba my "cousins").

In Nova Scotia the are two root families of Blades: (1) the Shelburne Blades on the South Shore; (2) the Musquodoboit Valley Blades in Eastern Nova Scotia after a decomissioned British Army officer land grant in that area.

Dad's from the Musquodoboit bunch. He's one of 15 siblings. A son of Roy Stanley Blades and Alice Loreen Blades (nee McCurdy). Claymore broadsword hung on the livingroom wall in the Chaswood house. Have heard half-stories of Northern England Lowlanders . . .

I'd suspected an Anglo-Saxon angle way back, but not Denmark specifically, because of words I'd chanced upon in A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Fourth edition (Cambridge University Press, 1970): bladesian, bladesnung, bladesnug.

Another book claims that Blaydes and Blades were Bladesmakers or Bladesmiths. Could be true. What else would one expect of a people known as Burseblades (Bewere's Blades). Sounds like a not-so-merry band . . . working for or descended from a Danish nobleman. I wonder how much diluteted viking is in the blood of the line?

Below is what one retail geneology site states:
The lineage of the name Blaydes begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in Yorkshire, where they settled in a place called Blades, which is now lost. The family claim descent from Drago de Bewere, a Danish nobleman who settled at a place called Blades in north England around 1016. He obtained extensive land grants which were recorded in the Domesday Book Survey of 1086. The variant Burseblades emerged through a compounding of the names of the founder and the estate.

Spelling variations of this family name include: Blades, Blade, Blate, Blait, Blayde, Blaide, Blaydes, Blaites, Blaits, Blaides and many more.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or of its variants were: Timothy Blade who settled in Virginia in 1654; John and William Blades settled in Virginia in 1652; Antony Blades settled in the Barbados in 1634; along with Nicholas.

"The ancient arms of Blaydes":

T: Scream in High Park (2000)
loc: Fredfaxebock
temp: -8 C
sound: Mr Something Something Mr Something Something + snoring upstairs

30 December 2006

'nother fire on George Street

there were flames shooting out her front door when i stepped out of my building on the corner . . . hoped to get a picture but, snuffed quickly, I only managed to shoot smoke . . . really old woman lives there on George Street just off York, house beside the home of George of George E George Footwear . . . she's generally not seen except for some garbage Thursdays. UNB anguish dept prof woman w/ dog who lives across the street rushes over w/ blanket long B4 fireman arrives with thermal space foil blanket. good on her. asshole dzo only has camera in hand. there might be student apartments or someone else in the second unit in the house . . . but I don't think they were home while this was happening.

t-shirt: Scream in High Park (2000)
loc: Fredfirescene
temp: -5 C
sound: F'ton Fire & Police Depts

Iranian Poet Forough Farrokhzad

Received in an email yesterday:

Dear Editor

Forough Farrokhzad is one of the most famous Iranian poets of modern times.

Her poems are unjustly unknown to English readers as a result of the lack of proper translation.

The 13th February 2007 is the 40th anniversary of her tragic death at the age of 32. I translated a selection of her poems for her memory.

Here is the link: www.foroughfarrokhzad.org

I appreciate if you help me to connect to a large set of eventual interested readers. Many thanks!

Happy New Year.

Maryam Dilmaghani

The Tripod site built by Maryam Dilmaghani includes a goodly number of poems in translation into English plus bio info on the poet and the translator's personal reasons for undertaking this work. Thanks!

"Forough Farrokhzad (January 5, 1935—February 13, 1967) can be called the most famous of the Iranian poets of modern time. She not only contributed to the Iranian poetry tradition but also to the advancement of Iranian popular culture. Her outstanding lucidity and her uncommon courage in going beyond cultural taboos gave an unimitable example to all Iranian women and men who lived at the same time or after her."
—from www.foroughfarrokhzad.org

You might also want to visit www.forughfarrokhzad.com with audio files and much more . . .

T: Scream in High Park (2000)
loc: Freddabcan
temp: -6 C
sound: Great Songs of Indifference: The best of Bob Geldof & the Boomtown Rats

29 December 2006

Clarke Review of Let Rest

Only a year and a half after the book's release, here's a review by George Elliott Clarke, one of a handfull of great reviewers in Canada, of Let Rest by Acadien poet Serge Patrice Thibodeau, translated into English by Ottawa's Jonathan Kaplansky (Broken Jaw Press, 2005, ISBN 978-1-55391-035-0). Click on the image copy of the review to read it.

So much for the stupid retail notion that books, even Canadian poetry books, now have a shelf life of only six weeks [meaning that these great book resellers insisist that at six weeks a book passes its "best before" date and then goes stale or mouldy or becomes something similarly undesirable]. I doubt that there's any copies of this book in stores today.

P.S. There's a box or so of this book here in Fredericton looking for good homes everywhere!

T: Bagad Kelc'h Keltieg Kombrid
loc: Fredfreezer
temp: -10 C
sound: The Clash Klashing With The Clash

27 December 2006

Found Photo(s) du Jour +

Found 7 October 2006 by my parents on Highway 4 where it's joined by the dirt road from the falls near Ski Wentworth (on its open house day). Parents were parked eating lunch when a truck came out the road. Mom said she noticed something dark fly up and off the truck. The truck didn't stop after it turned and headed toward Folly Mountain, Folly Lake and points beyond loosely in the direction of Truro, NS.

Scores of photos of the falls and autumn woods, of baby, of baby and parents, of older sister/friend/grandma(?) and baby . . .

Camera has seen better days:
• Older Fuji FinePix 2600 Zoom.
• Black camera bag.
• Held together, on the bottom, with packing tape. Is missing three essential little phillips screws meant to hold the case together. Maybe it's been dropped or bounced before?

T: great whale petroglyph
loc: Hawkeye Island
temp: a hair above 0 C
sound: wood stove, Dad washing dishes, Little Feat Waiting for Columbus

25 December 2006

Xmoose Day 2006

Happy, happy xmoose day!

Winter solstice 2006 sunset over Three Fathom Harbour.

What a day weatherwise this christmas day had been. Great for family and friends' travel. We can all enjoy the sunshine, the mostly green grass, the unusual winter warmth [except of some who really really really wanted snow for a white . . . ]. There's several hundred geese abobbing on the harbour waters out of the range of hunters if any hunters there be today. Wind out of the northwest.

I just pulled big bird from the oven. Dad has gone into Cole Harbour and will being Gram, Mom's Mom, back. Ruth and Mike (w/o Abbey, the black lab) will be over after Mike returns from visiting his mom in her nursing care home. Sister Carol will phone from Toronto between her lunch and evening social twirls. Best wishes to one and all, wherever you are.

T: Surf Joe Boards
loc: Hawkeye Island
temp: 7 C
sound: ""Hork the Harold" or somesuch song [could be "Merry Moose"]

21 December 2006

Poverty in Canada: a opportunity for artists & writers to speak up

Here's a blurb and link, slightly rewritten and added to by me, that was sent via a member's posting to a writer's group listserv. They had received the quoted blub and link from the Make Povery History campaign:

With so many Canadian writers and artists living in poverty, you might be interested in taking a few minutes to complete an on-line survey about poverty and how to reduce it in Canada. The last question in the survey invites respondents to suggest other ideas for fighting poverty—an opportunity to highlight specific issues for writers and artists, such as making EI benefits accessible to artists; eliminating income tax on royalties (as Quebec has already done); or creating annual artist incomes (as some European countries have done); or . . .

"The National Council of Welfare, an independent body established to advise the government on social development, has recently launched a web-based survey to seek input from Canadians on developing a poverty reduction strategy for Canada. They want to hear from individuals and organizations about why you think there is so much poverty in Canada and what you think we can do about it."

To participate click on: media6.magma.ca/www.leverus.com/ncw/?refererid=12

T-shirt: International Terrorist
loc: Fredpocket
temp: -1 C
sound: Killing Joke Killing Joke.

20 December 2006

then & now

World's first Xmas card-London, 1843Repro of what is allegedly the world's first Christmas card, London, UK, 1843. Received it in an unexpected email this week. Nice. I haven't sent cards to anyone, anywhere . . . not for the Christmasses, not for the New Years' celebrations, not even for this week's winter solstice. In some past years I have written poems, made art, printed cards . . .

                             —from The Taproom, Fredericton

Think I'll take a pass on this one, too. Wish there wasn't need for things like police spot-checks and Operation Red Nose to catch or keep a few of the Christmas season drunks from getting behing the wheel and driving themselves or others to a miserable death. Don't need drunk drivers anytime! Life is fragile enough without the destuctive potential of drunks at the wheel. Why not have a breathalyzer built into the steering wheel? One that automatically prevents the driver from starting or operating the vehicle when its sensors detect alcohol. Don't want a Twisted Sleigh Ride (or two) to get home.

Have happy and safe festivities wherever you are, whatever you do!

T-shirt: Access Copyright
loc: Fredbrokeninn
temp: -8 C (1-15 C wind chill)
sound: The Smiths "Singles"

17 December 2006

removal begun

out of necessity, out of self-interest in recovering my own space, i'm roped in to assisting with the move out, the double move out, to a still not secured move in

today i went over early to enable the removal of upriver wingnut's pottery kiln from the shed to a new purpose downriver. ron arrived driving a dark blue half ton pickup that he wouldn't shut off in the city for fear that it wouldn't start

before that i had haulled the brown chair curbside and had emptied and upended the ratty sofa in the living room doorway. after they left, the sofa went out the front door. then i hefted the baking soda freezer through the studio door and down the dangerously angled steps to the driveway. with cordless drill, i unscrewed the lid and removed it. used my colourfully stickered hand-truck to wheel sofa and freezer to the end of the driveway. added a few old plastic toys to the pile photographed

back inside i pushed the "DO NOT OPEN," toxic, taped-shut freezer from the dining room to where the sofa had been in the living room. plugged it back in. when the light trucking guys come, i hope it can go out the front door and not have to go back through the box-filled, congested kitchen . . .

T-shirt: Surf Joe Boards
loc: Fredcurbside
temp: 0 C
sound: Dave Matthew Under the Table and Dreaming

15 December 2006

Happy Hanukkah

T-shirt: History of Art
loc: Fredfriday
temp: 8 C
sound: Star Trek: Nemesis

14 December 2006

test poem-platter

This afternoon Ursula Sommerer came by my place with our test poem-platter from back in July. Four different processes resulted in four different colours on the lines of text. In the end, she used the blacker-making iron oxide used on my name. Several seriously twisted letters in my first use, my test use, of the letter stamps borrowed from Shanie Stozek (who just opened her pottery studio this past Saturday, December 9, at 271 Killarney Road, Nashwaak Village, NB).

The final, finished, collaborative platter, prison song 05, exhibited in the Casemates show in City Hall, was recently purchased by the City of Fredericton Art Collection.

Early in the new year, Ursula and I expect to collaborate on at least one more tall poem-platter . . . maybe more . . . Anyone seriously interested in one is welcome to email me :-)

T: Mojo Club
loc: Fredfaxebock
temp: 6 C
sound: The Chieftains The Long Black Veil

TWUC Postcard Story Competition

The Writers' Union of Canada is holding its annual Postcard Story Competition with a $500 prize awarded to the winning entry. The deadline for entry is February 14, 2007.

$500.00 Prize
What is a Postcard Story?

It can be anything; a memory, part of a longer story, an anecdote or even an experimentation. The form lends itself well to dramatic images and sharp ideas. It is a blend of prose and verse that is conscious of sound and playful with language.

This competition is open to all Canadian citizens and landed immigrants. Original and unpublished (English language) fiction or nonfiction.

Word limit: 250
Deadline: Postmarked February 14, 2007
Entry Fee: $5

How to Submit Entries:
- Typed or computer-printed, double-spaced and numbered on 8.5 x 11 paper, not stapled.
- Submissions on computer disk or faxes will not be accepted.
- Include a separate cover letter with title of story, full name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and number of pages of entry. The author's name should not appear on the actual entry.
- Make cheque or money order payable to The Writers' Union of Canada. Multiple entries can be submitted together and fees can be added and paid with one cheque or money order.
- Results will be posted at www.writersunion.ca. Manuscripts will not be returned.
- Mail to: PCS Competition, 90 Richmond Street East—Suite 200, Toronto ON M5C 1P1.

12 December 2006

casemate off-season

brass key atop folded papers with hand-
written notes and scratchings—some
seriously crossed out or loopy loop ink

obscured—key to the end of summer (call
it the start of another public school
and college of craft and design year)

casemate artist residency key not yet
returned by one of the last week's
artists by this second week of december

[and it wasn't me far far gone due
east across southern new brunswick
bay of fundy nova scotia atlantic

ocean france italy dinaric alps and
reka dunav in senta vojvodina serbia;
my custody of that key ended when

my residency ended in july] so this
action today is giving a friend closure
on another piece of their unfinished . . .

silk frame left in the casemate
frame pieces borrowed from claire
with small bulldogs and elastics

stretched silk hand-painted dyes but
not set—a household of gonfalons
in small test sketches before the real

buried at the back of the casemate
behind fence sections craft college
pottery worktables and raku kilns

outside the closed streetside window
at my back one of too many squirrels
chattering telling me off like security

province-contracted commissionaire
with military experience somewhere
now checking doors after work hours

shirt: long-sleeve burgandy knit
loc: Fredcampinn
temp: -2 C
sound: "rush" hour traffic & Grateful Dead Europe '72, disc 1

08 December 2006

inside Bearing Witness

Since I returned to Canada earlier than planned I, unexpectedly, have been able to see the Bearing Witness exhibition in the galleries of the UNB Art Centre (9 Bailey Dr, Fredericton, NB). The exhibit is up until next Monday, 18 December 2006. I had not seen any pictures of the collective exhibit while in Serbia and Bosnia so I didn't know exactly what to expect. I was fuzzy on discussion details from that last group meeting attended back in August and discussed work-in-progress doesn't always result in exactly the same thing as finished artworks. We filled both galleries: four artist in the East Gallery; three in the West Gallery.

Karen Burk: Funerary Urn for a Couple and Three Guardians, 2006. Stoneware, glaze, oxides and stains fired at cone 10 reduction. Urn: 72 x 20 x 9 cm. Guardians: 87 x 21 x 10 cm.

Linda Brine: Triptych: I Am You, 2006. Woven paper cloth, digital enlargements of family photographs, silver & holographic threads, hand-made paper. 177.8 x 218.4 cm

Paula Keppie: Songlines I (wall piece), 2006; Songlines (installation), 2006.

Vita Plume: (L-R) Column VKP, 2004; Yardage VKP 01, 2005; Alien's Passport, 1999. Hand-woven Jacquard.

Linda Kelly with LiAnne Kelly: various works on paper, 2006.

lori p morse: photo installation with flea market tables, 2006.

Joe Blades: Journals: 1983-2006; Casemate Poems (Coda), 2005; Casemate Poems (Reprise), 2005.

07 December 2006


T-shirt: Mojo Club
loc: Frednest
temp: 4 C
sound: Sly and the Family Stone "I Want To Take You Higher"

06 December 2006

above/ground press 2007 subscriptions

[a notice from rob mclennan]

poetry chapbooks that'll blow yr colon;
killing trees for literature since 1993 . . .
For those who have been waiting, I am doing a large mailout in December / January (once I'm recovered from this grand tour); otherwise, 2007 above/ground press subscriptions (& renewals) are now available for $40 (outside Canada, $40 US), including chapbooks, asides + broadsheets, drop magazine, STANZAS magazine (for long poems/sequences) + The Peter F. Yacht Club (our writer's group magazine). The next issue of STANZAS features a poem by Margaret Christakos, and the next issue of The Peter F. Yacht Club is a Calgary special edited by Laurie Fuhr.

Recent and forthcoming publications by Phil Hall (Toronto), Margaret Christakos (Toronto), rob mclennan (Ottawa), Andy Weaver (Toronto), Jesse Ferguson (Ottawa/Fredericton), Nicholas Lea (Ottawa), Lea Graham (Worcester), Max Middle (Ottawa), Jessica Smith (Mid-Atlantic), Nathaniel G. Moore (Toronto), Sharon Harris (Toronto), Jennifer Mulligan (Ottawa), John Newlove (Ottawa), Stephanie Bolster (Montreal), Stan Rogal (Ottawa), Karen Clavelle (Winnipeg), Barry McKinnon (Prince George), Wanda O'Connor (Ottawa/Montreal), Gil McElroy (Colborne), Shauna McCabe (Charlottetown), Cath Morris (Vancouver), Dennis Cooley (Winnipeg), Monty Reid (Ottawa) + others.

Payable to rob mclennan, c/o above/ground press, 858 Somerset Street West–main floor, Ottawa ON K1R 6R7, CANADA.

Some recent titles can be found here:

More information with links here:


rob mclennan: poet/editor/publisher ... STANZAS mag, above/ground press & Chaudiere Books ... coord., SPAN-O + ottawa small press fair ... 12th poetry coll'n—aubade (Broken Jaw Press) .... c/o 858 Somerset St W, Ottawa ON K1R 6R7 * robmclennan.blogspot.com

Give Us Your Best Shot

Gallery Connexion to host Photography Silent Auction

Dec 5/06—If you are looking for a unique Christmas gift, a hostess gift for this season's parties or something to decorate your home or office with, then try Gallery Connexion's Give Us Your Best Shot silent auction fundraiser. Over 100 photos submitted by prominent local figures, Gallery members, past exhibitors, artists and friends of the Gallery are on display this week until final bids are placed from 5-7pm on Friday, December 8th. Subject matter ranges from vintage black and whites to colourful worldwide travel.

Volunteers, who mounted the 8x10 photos into glass clip frames, were inspired by people's travel photos to exotic places such as South and Central America, China, Ireland, France, Italy, and Australia. "We have photos of Nicaraguan dogs, and an Indian snake charmer," says Carol Collicutt, chair of Gallery Connexion's Board.

Submissions came from notable photographers in the community including Brian Atkinson—a professional photographer known for his international photojournalism, and Peter Gross—head of photography department at the NB College of Craft & Design.

Local artist and former School District 26 art coordinator Clive Roberts submitted a beautiful collection of black and white photos from his travels during the 1940s. The images of people of Tibet, India, and Nepal are reminiscent of vintage National Geographic.

"We have a photo submitted by playwright Norm Foster, taken during a recent visit to Fredericton," says Collicutt, "and we have an interesting photo of Lieutenant Governor Hermenigilde Chiasson taken by Joe Blades." It was taken from a television set during an interview and includes English subtitles.

"Some of the most interesting images are a collection of black and whites by international photographer and scientist Dr. Reginald Balch who died in 1994," says Collicutt. His son Norval submitted the photos. Reg Balch, born in England in 1894, moved to Canada in 1913. He studied and worked in Ontario and New York in the field of forest entomology. He was appointed officer in charge of a federal government facility at UNB in 1930.

He traveled and photographed in Europe and Ireland and went on to publish two books of photography with Goose Lane Editions called, A Mind's Eye and Celebrations of Nature. His images also illustrate a book of Alden Nowlan's poems. "These are unique photos," says Collicutt. "His son is working on a book for the NB Provincial Archives collection of his father's images."

His photos range from the whimsical 'Girl Swinging' and the 'Nuns Picnic' featuring seven sisters in the deep woods near Mt. Ste. Hillaire, Quebec, to the eerie photo of an old barn near Sussex which was published with a photo of Alfred Hitchcock in Photography Year Book (London).

The photos are grouped in categories including; architecture, people, flora, fauna, and landscapes. There are pretty images of flowers including the world famous tulips at the Ottawa Tulip Festival, and amusing photos of exotic animals. Current exhibitor and internationally known artist Matei Glass has also donated a photo.

"We think there will be something that appeals to everyone," says Collicutt. On the night of the 8th, photographer Brian Atkinson and city councilor Mike O'Brien will give opening remarks. Live music provided by Steven Peacock. Food and refreshments will be served.

The Gallery, located at 453 Queen Street (back of the Justice Building), Fredericton, NB, is open all week from noon to 4pm for viewing and early bids. The photo party and final bids take place Friday, from 5-7pm with refreshments. Bids start at $10. Cash and cheques will be accepted. Proceeds will go towards the operation of the gallery.

For more information contact Gallery Connexion at 454-1433 or connex@nbnet.nb.ca